Smart Kids

I thought I’d write something that gave me a little hope for the future.

I am a volunteer at the local elementary school. Kids read aloud to me one at a time and I listen to them. We chat a little, too. It’s right up my alley as a retired homeschool mom. And the fun part is when they say things like this.

We were reading a book called King of the Birds . It was a Mayan folktale for early readers. In the story the King bird is retiring and the other birds are auditioning to replace him. Both girl birds and boy birds were vying for the spot of King. But the kids resisted this idea.

While reading aloud, both boys and girls pointed out to me, or even just speaking their thoughts out loud, that ‘she can’t be the King because she is a girl.’ They said it in a tone that indicated that they thought the book was somewhere between wrong and ridiculously wrong. Very young children do not have to be taught that boys and girls are different. They know.

Note that they did not say a girl bird couldn’t ‘rule’, but they knew that the label was wrong. They care about the meaning of words. Words matter. So let’s stop twisting the language to fit our agenda and telling them lies such as gender is a social construct. Because kids hate hypocrisy.

Side note: The main bird was a Quetzal. I found it very interesting that even though I told them how to pronounce the word, with a K sound, most of them reverted to using a regular KW sound. If I had more time I’d explain why it’s pronounced with a K, but sadly I only have a few minutes with each child.



  1. It seems the kids know instinctively what’s correct or not. It would be so much better if adults, especially those in the “news” business or journalists, good use the same common sense. It has become very tedious to need to read articles several times to comprehend whether the subject is a man, woman or transvestite seeking political and social acceptance.

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